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My objective is to create a quantitatively accurate simulation of a column buckling. Ideally, I would like to apply a compressive axial force at or just above the critical load to an initially straight column (perhaps with a small perturbation) and see it transition from the unbuckled state to the first buckled mode. The column will not necessarily have a uniform cross-section.

I have found from studying Euler-Bernoulli beam theory and Timoshenko beam theory that these linear theories can identify the buckling load and provide dynamic equations, but they are indeterminate in finding, say, the correct shape of the buckled state. My understanding is that one must resort to nonlinear buckling for this.

My questions are:

1. Does this mean I need to use some finite element solver to produce this simulation?

2. If so, from what I have read NASTRAN (from autodesk) would be one option for producing this sort of simulation, is this correct? Any better options or other suggestions?

Thanks in advance!

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# Buckling simulation

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